The Department Of Homeland Security In Little Brother By Cory Doctorow
The Department of Homeland Security first became involved after the Bay Bridge was bombed. Computer code was a necessity to pull off the terrorist attack. Marcus, Van, Holu, and Darryl were taken by the Department of Homeland of Security after trying to get medical attention to Darryl from being stabbed following the terrorist attack. This was the largest culture shock throughout the novel. Carrie Johnstone, working for the Department of Homeland Security, tells Marcus as she is about to release him from prison, “…You are a marked man. You have not been found to be above suspicion – we’re only releasing you because we’re done questioning you for now. But from now you belong to us. We’ll be waiting for you to make a misstep” (64-65). Marcus and dozens of others were tortured because they would not give up their personal computer codes to the government, which is not required to do so under the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Again, culture shifted as more people became aware that the Department of Homeland Security tracked computer codes from their digital devices. Continuously throughout Little Brother, the increased presence of the San Francisco Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security is the greatest reason for the most recognizable shift in culture. Later in the novel, Marcus reveals to a Guardian Bay reporter and family friend, Barbara Stratford, about what happened to him in prison at Gitmo-by-the-Bay. She released an article which received fury from readers, “The newspaper seller shook his head. ‘Can you believe that?’ he said. ‘Right here in San Francisco. Man, the government sucks’” (324). Marcus adds his own thoughts, “I kept feeling outraged on behalf of the poor kids [Barbara Stratford] was writing about, then remembering that [Barbara Stratford] was writing about me” (325).